Dear friends of Israel:
After a long period of dilly-dallying the Israeli government and the Palestinians are ready to resume proximity talks. Israel is even willing to discuss core issues such as the status of Jerusalem and the refugee problem. Moreover, Israel has given in to the Palestinian demand for a freeze of the construction activities in the so-called «occupied territories». Obviously these developments are the first results of President Obama's new approach in the Middle East policy. However, Jewish circles in Israel and the United States are concerned about the recent situation. Many are having qualms about the American government's true position regarding Israel and the Middle East. When the Israeli Defense Minister went on a trip to the United States in late April, he dispelled such doubts. In a speech to a mostly Jewish audience he said: "I feel very strongly that these differences, these slight disputes are behind us." He also put the minds of the participants at ease by explaining that the relationship between the Israeli and the American defense establishments "is extremely good ... and the bonds are intimate and unbreakable." Barak also expressed urgency on reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians, citing the demographic threat. He warned that without a two-state solution the options would be a bi-national state or a non-democratic state. Although most of the governing coalition is right-wing – his own Labor Party being the sole exception – he stressed that Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is ready to work toward peace, albeit the steps to be taken in that direction are not easy.
In the past the Likud Party left no stone unturned to prevent the emergence of a Palestinian state. What are the reasons for this sudden turnaround? Why does a Likud-led government now officially accept the establishment of a Palestinian state? Obviously a great majority of Israelis think that it is unacceptable and irresponsible for any government to jeopardize Israel's alliance with the United States. Among citizens of all political camps from the far left to the far right there is a consensus that America is Israel's only reliable strategic partner. Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet are also aware of the risk that the United States might withdraw its generous support if the Israeli government were not willing to agree to certain "rules of the game" on the path to a peace agreement. Maybe this is one of the reasons why the Likud-led government has yielded to the demands of the Obama administration.
Moreover, there is an impending threat of a renewed military conflict with the Hizbullah in Lebanon. According to recent news releases this terror group has stockpiled an arsenal of rockets that no state in the entire world possesses, notwithstanding the fact that Hizbullah has the support of Syria and Iran. This increasingly apocalyptic threat silences even the most vociferous critics who are usually decrying Israel's extensive dependence on the United States.
These developments make us aware of the fact that world events are not governed by human decisions but by the hands of God to fulfill His plan that He has revealed in His Word. Included in this plan might be the emergence of a false peace that the apostle Paul also mentions in his first letter to the Thessalonians. In the same chapter he writes: "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief" (1Thessalonians 5:4).
This is why we should be grateful for the word of prophecy that shines as a light in this increasingly dark world and that enables us to see things from God's perspective. Sharing this gratefulness with you, I am sending you a warm Shalom,